President Bola Tinubu has directed that issues affecting
Nigeria’s relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) be resolved
The issues revolve around Emirates Airline and issuance of
visas to Nigerians.
The president also said he is ready to “personally’’
intervene to resolve areas of conflict.
Tinubu said this while receiving Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, UAE
ambassador to Nigeria, on Thursday at the State House.
A statement signed by Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the
president on media and publicity, quoted Tinubu as saying that: “We are a
family with the UAE, we only live in separate rooms, but we are in the same
“We should look at the issues as a family problem, and
resolve it amicably.
“As you know in every family, there are peculiarities. You
can have an erring son, or daughter, but we must work together.
“We need to agree on
core aviation and immigration issues.”
In his response Al-Shamsi said the disagreements will be
“Since I arrived in the country, I have been working on 24
agreements. We are getting somewhere,” Al-Shamsi said.
“These are small issues, all within a family, and they will
“I am grateful to be
here in Nigeria. I am also very grateful to meet His Excellency, President
Tinubu, who is a great leader in Nigeria and Africa.
“Please accept me as a Nigerian and consider me a member of
Nigeria and the UAE have been locked in a diplomatic row for
some time now.
In August of 2022, Emirates Airline announced the suspension
of its flight operations to Nigeria, citing the inability to repatriate its
earnings in foreign exchange, amounting to $85 million.
In October of 2022, UAE immigration authorities announced a
ban on visa applications from Nigerians.
The UAE government said the suspension would subsist pending
the resolution of issues between it and the Nigerian government.
“Kindly advise your clients to resubmit applications when
the issue is resolved between both governments”, the notice had read.
The UAE had also stopped issuing tourist visas to persons
under the age of 40, a policy that affected Nigerians as well.
On Thursday, President Tinubu also held meetings with Awall
Wagris Mohammed, Ethiopian ambassador; and Miriam Morales Palmero, the Cuban
Tinubu assured the Ethiopian envoy that Nigeria will
continue to strengthen its ties with African countries in the areas of trade,
security, and economic growth.
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